Saturday, May 3, 2008

God Bless the Grass

God bless the grass that grows through cement.
It's green and it's tender and it's easily bent.
But after a while it lifts up its head,
For the grass is living and the stone is dead,
And God bless the grass.
Malvina Reynolds

I was reminded of Blossfeldt's photography in happening upon the blog Wild Grass, where a San Francisco professor, inspired by Thoreau, keeps a log of "my effort to identify local, Bay Area grasses. I also want to write about the beauty of local grasses and how to appreciate such a common and overlooked type of plant."

Along the way he identifies grasses growing out of sidewalks and abandoned boats, discovers 10 terms used for identifying grass species that sound like heavy metal band names, and questions his quest:

"What does one gain by being able to name each grass I see on my walks? Is this linked to some Enlightenment dream of naming all parts of the world and thus feeling I have more control over the landscape? Am I really interested in appreciating nature or is this more like the effort in the late 18th and early 19th centuries to catalog and display the natural world in zoos and botanical gardens?"

Recommended as a gentle read for your Sunday.

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